The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Measurement Error, Nonresponse and Administrative Mismatch in the CPS


The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Measurement Error, Nonresponse and Administrative Mismatch in the CPS

Research Seminar

Tuesday 11 December 2018, 16:30 — 17:30

Presented by  Christopher R. Bollinger, University of Kentucky

Venue: Office for National Statistics, 1 Drummond Gate, London, SW1V 2QQ

Using the Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the March Current Population Survey (CPS) matched to Detailed Earnings Records from the Social Security Administration, we link observations across years to investigate a relationship between item non-response and measurement error for the CPS earnings questions.  Prior research has found that (1) non-response is linked to earnings: individuals in the tails of the earnings distribution are less likely to respond to the earnings question.  Other research has suggested that (2) individuals with income above the average are more likely to under-report their earnings, while individuals with earnings below average are more likely to over-report their earnings.  We examine whether these two phenomenon are related.  The overlapping samples in the CPS data allow us to observe individuals who switch from response to non-response.  This allows us to investigate whether those who fail to respond in both years have different response patterns than those who provide earnings data in both years.

Christopher R. Bollinger  received his B.A. in Economics from Michigan State University and earned both an M.S. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.  Dr. Bollinger is the Sturgill Professor of Economics at the University of Kentucky, and is currently the Leverhulme Visiting Professor of Economics at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex.  Specializing in Econometrics, Labour, and Applied Microeconomics, Dr. Bollinger’s research has focused on the impact of measurement error and non-response on estimation; measurement and causes of income inequality and poverty; and urban development policy evaluation. He is the former director of the Center for Business and Economic Research (2012-2018), a member of the State of Kentucky Consensus Forecast Group, an affiliate of the U.K. Center for Poverty Research, and an advisory board member of the U.K. Research Data Center.

Christopher R. Bollinger